Meredith Monk – Bending Melodies in ‘Songs of Ascension’

A review from NYTimes.com:

The wonder of Meredith Monk is that having created a musical language and theatrical style, she has been able to stretch and refine them with just about every work. Her recent music, including “Songs of Ascension,” a collaboration with the video artist Ann Hamilton, which opened at the BAM Harvey Theater on Wednesday, sounds nothing like the assertive pieces she wrote and sang in the 1980s. Yet enough musical DNA remains, in the form of idiosyncratic warbling and interlocking rhythms, that you would not mistake it for anyone else’s work.

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Classical Listings in the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

MMARTISTS IN CONCERT (Friday) The Metropolitan Museum’s resident chamber group, the awkwardly named MMArtists in Concert, play Mozart’s Duo No. 2 for Violin and Viola (K. 424) and the sublime Divertimento in E flat (K. 563), as well as Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Rejoice” Sonata for Violin and Cello. The players are Colin Jacobsen, violinist; Nicholas Cords, violist; and Edward Arron, cellist. At 7 p.m., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 212-570-3949 , metmuseum.org; $40. (Kozinn)20091015

MEREDITH MONK (Wednesday and Thursday) As part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave series, Meredith Monk, for more than 40 years a composer, vocalist, performance artist, filmmaker and choreographer who has attracted an ardent following, presents “Songs of Ascension.” This multidisciplinary work explores the theme of spiritual enlightenment through ascent, from Buddhist practice to Jacob’s Ladder. The 65-minute work involves music, movement, video and spirituality. The performers are Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble and the Todd Reynolds String Quartet. (Through Oct. 25.) Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Harvey Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 651 Fulton Street, Fort Greene , (718) 636-4100, bam.org; $20 to $50. (Tommasini)20091015

? IANNIS XENAXIS: PANEL DISCUSSION AND PERFORMANCE (Friday and Saturday) Ordinarily, music lovers who want to expose themselves to the work of a contemporary composer are wise to just jump in and listen. But the music of the Romanian-born Greek composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) may be best appreciated along with some commentary. Therefore the Miller Theater’s intriguing free panel discussion and performance, “Iannis Xenakis: Interdisciplinary Connections,” is a rare opportunity to grapple with the music of a visionary composer whose work was both formidably intellectual and intensely intuitive. Xenakis was also a mathematician, architect and political activist. The panel includes Sharon Kanach, a Xenakis biographer; Mark Wigley, the dean of Columbia University’s School of Architecture; David Lang, the composer; and Lara Pellegrinelli, an arts journalist and scholar. The percussionist Steven Schick will perform a seminal early percussion work by Xenakis. The day after the program the Miller Theater presents a Composers Portrait concert featuring Xenakis’s music, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble. Panel and performance: Friday at 7 p.m.; Composer Portraits Concert: Saturday at 8 p.m.; Miller Theater at Columbia University, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights , (212) 854-7799, millertheater.com; Friday, free; Saturday, $7 to $25. (Tommasini)

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